BETTENDORF, IOWA (August 6, 2020) — As communities across the country continue to assess how to overcome structural racism and inequality, United Way Quad Cities and partners Quad Cities Community Foundation, Visit Quad Cities, and Quad Cities Chamber are leading an effort to develop a deeper understanding on how inequity and racism affect our lives and community by launching the 21-Day Equity Challenge on August 24.

Built around the idea that it takes 21 days to change a habit, the challenge is a three-week-long educational opportunity in which participants tackle daily actions, sent via e-mail, which include readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections and understanding.

The self-guided learning journey examines the history and impact of racism and how it has shaped people’s lives. Each action will take between ten to fifteen minutes to complete and can be done individually or as a group. Registration for the first of three sessions of the 21-Day Equity Challenge is open through August 20 at

“We have seen a seismic shift in our community and nation where more and more of us are wanting to learn and take action to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors, friends, and family,” said United Way President and CEO Rene Gellerman. “Taking part in the 21-Day Equity Challenge will help us discover how racial inequity and social injustice affect our community and identify ways to dismantle racism and other forms of discrimination.”

A Community-Wide Effort

The challenge was originally developed by University of Iowa alum, Dr Eddie Moore Jr, along with Dr Marguerite Penick-Parks and Debby Irving, and was adapted by Food Solutions New England. United Way Quad Cities and partners Quad Cities Community Foundation, Quad Cities Chamber, and Visit Quad Cities have adapted the challenge to focus on Rock Island and Scott counties.

“Already, we’re encouraged by the outpouring of commitment by our partners, donors, volunteers, and advocates,” Gellerman said. “2020 has been a difficult year with unimaginable uncertainty, but it’s also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to fold in solutions to problems we’ve put off for too long. We invite all residents and businesses to join us in making this challenge a true community-wide effort that will help remove barriers and reimagine a more equitable and stronger Quad Cities.”

About the Challenge

The 21-Day Equity Challenge ranges from themes such as personal racial identity, to reflecting on biases and defining what “privilege” means. In the first week, participants will explore why it’s hard to talk about race and the impact of racial trauma on Black, Brown and Indigenous people.

The session dates are:

  • Session #1: August 24–September 13; Register by August 20.
  • Session #2: September 17–October 7; Register by September 15.
  • Session #3: October 26–November 15; Register by October 22.

All challenge participants will be invited to the Equity Summit in October, focused on bringing people together to talk about what we can do individually and together to reduce and prevent racial inequities across systems that impact education, income, and health in the Quad Cities. More information on the summit will be announced at a later date.

To register or learn more about the equity challenge, visit or call 563-355-4310. To learn more about the United Way, visit

About United Way of the Quad Cities

United Way is a community-based social-change organization that puts opportunity in the hands of all Quad Citizens. Working with our determined partners, volunteers, advocates, and donors, we lead the charge to improve education, income, and health the building blocks of opportunity. The result is a mobilized community where every Quad Citizen is living their best possible life.

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